25 tips from the frugally insane.


You know, saving money is a serious business. Sometimes, too serious. So now and then I like to inject a little fun into the proceedings. Back when I was a little younger, I would ocassionally glance at the magazines my mom would read. They were the usual "mom" magazines, like Good Housekeeping, Bella, that kind of thing. And there was always a spot dedicated to tips sent in from readers. You know the ones — "A little club soda and salt will clean up any stain."

Then I found a magazine called VIZ, a comic for grown-ups. And they did what I can only describe as the funniest parody of frugality I have ever read. As you are all fans of saving a few pennies, I thought I'd share these insane tips with you. Trust me when I say that the only use they serve is to give you an occasional chuckle. Enjoy.

1. Save a Fortune on Laundry Bills

Give your dirty shirts to a local charity shop. They'll wash and iron them and you can buy them back for 50 cents.

2. Create Instant Designer Stubble

Suck on a magnet and dip your chin into a bowl of iron filings.

3. Food on the Move

A hedgehog, trained to scuttle up and down the table from guest to guest, makes an unusual and cheap mobile appetizer dispenser at cocktail parties.

4. Foil Pick-Pockets

Place a freshly toasted Pop-Tart in each pocket. Would-be thieves will quickly rupture the fragile pastry and receive nasty finger burns from the steaming hot jam inside.

5. Snake-mobile

A length of plastic drainpipe with a roller skate at each end makes an ideal home-made "car" for snakes.

6. Clingy Contacts

Can’t afford contact lenses? Simply cut out small circles of clingwrap and press them into your eyes.

7. The Bucket Trick

Stop bread from drying out by keeping it in a bucket of water.

8. Close Observations

Don't waste money buying expensive binoculars. Simply stand closer to the object you wish to view.

9. Jet Setter

Avoid jet lag by simply taking an earlier flight, thus arriving fully refreshed and on time.

10. Smart Siphon

Put a stop to car thieves by siphoning off all your gas whenever you park your car, and carrying it round with you in one or two plastic buckets.

11. Potato Puzzle

Why pay for expensive jigsaws? Just take a bag of frozen fries from the freezer and try piercing together potatoes.

12. Smell Gas?

Locate the suspected leak by striking an ordinary match in every room in the house until a loud explosion reveals the source of the escaping gas.

13. The Butter Trick

Always keep a stick of butter in your pocket so that if you get your head stuck in railings you'll be able to grease your ears and slide out.

14. Sunless Tan

Exterior wood stain is a cheap, long-lasting and attractive alternative to sun-bed treatments.

15. Office Workers

Avoid distractions from your important paperwork by making "blinkers" out of two post-it note stickers, one stuck to each temple.

16. Lights Out

Save electricity by turning off all the lights in your house and walking around wearing a miner's hat.

17. Fast Wipe

Avoid parking tickets by leaving your windscreen wipers turned to 'fast wipe' whenever you leave your car parked illegally.

18. Personal Address Book

Old telephone directories make ideal, free personal address books. Simply cross out the names and addresses of people you don't know.

19. Bye-Bye Bookmark

When reading a book try tearing out the pages as you read them. This saves the expense of buying a bookmark.

20. Give It a Push

Save on gas by pushing your car to your destination. Invariably passers-by will think you've broken down and help.

21. Who Needs Wheels?

Avoid being wheel-clamped by jacking up your car, removing the wheels, and locking them safely in the trunk until you return.

22. Duct Tape Bath

No time for a bath? Wrap yourself in duct tape and remove the dirt by simply peeling it off.

23. Beware of Bees

Hair gels are expensive. Jelly is a much cheaper alternative, but beware of bees in the summer.

24. Faux Hangove

Save on alochol by drinking cold tea instead of scotch. The following morning you can create the effects of a hangover by drinking a tablespoon of dish soap and banging your head repeatedly on the wall.

25. International Master Criminals

It is possible to make your fortune. Simply tell your guards to shoot James Bond in the head at the first opportunity. Under no circumstances give him a guided tour of your base, or leave him in the custody of attractive women in bikinis.


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Will Chen's picture

Hilarious list Paul.  I'm going to try this blinker thing and wear it out in public!

Andrea Karim's picture

I'm slicing up the cheese cubes as we speak.

Now, if only there was a way to use my moppy little dogs as anything other than an annoying home security system.

Jessica Okon's picture

A kid I went to middle school with befriended a teacher's daughter. She reported back to us that during an overnight stay, said teacher enforced a rule about only using one square of toilet paper per wipe. She still talks about that till this day. Now that is frugally insane.

Guest's picture

It's not often that things make me laugh anymore, but this definitely did!


Lynn Truong's picture

17.    Avoid parking tickets by leaving your windscreen wipers turned to 'fast wipe' whenever you leave your car parked illegally.

Guest's picture

blinkers?! i think you meant blinders.

horses = blinders

cars = blinkers

make sense yet? no?


Paul Michael's picture

Sorry, in England (my country of origin) they're called blinkers. Don't ask me why.

Guest's picture

This is hysterical! Here via the humor carnival.

Guest's picture


Best stuff I've read in ages. Thanks for the post! I'll link to it from my site.

Guest's picture

Nice one...very interesting..



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Tips & Warning

  • As a final precaution, take the car to a mechanic, who should charge a reasonable fee to check over a used car. The seller should agree to this, but may require that you leave a deposit. If the seller won't let you take the car, offer to meet him or her at a mutually convenient garage.
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If the vehicle's mileage appears unusually low, have a mechanic determine whether someone has tampered with the odometer. If so, the seller must refund any money you have paid and may be liable for punitive damages under federal and state odometer laws…

This is how I acquire my car; I inspected all its auto parts from exterior and interior aspect down to its Dodge oxygen sensors and other accessories. By doing so, you could be sure of the quality of vehicle you are getting. Hope this might help…=)